Charlotte Knights Top All MiLB Teams In Attendance During First Season At BB&T Ballpark
The Triple-A Int'l League Charlotte Knights yesterday wrapped up their first season at the new BB&T Ballpark drawing a total of 687,715 fans, the "most in the minors" this season and "more than twice the amount (254,834) that visited Knights Stadium in Fort Mill, S.C., in 2013," according to Seth Lakso of the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER. Yesterday's finale against the Gwinnett Braves drew the 31st sellout of the season (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 9/2). In Charlotte, David Perlmutt in a front-page piece reported the team's attendance figure was slated to surpass "all of the more than 160 Class A, AA, AAA baseball parks across the country." Uptown Charlotte's Third Ward -- where the new ballpark is located -- for decades was an area with "nothing but parking lots and aging industrial buildings." Int'l League President Randy Mobley said, "We thought it was going to be a great site in uptown Charlotte, but we just weren’t sure. It has surpassed all expectations. We’ve got a bunch of nice ballparks in this league, but there’s something special about the one in Charlotte." Knights COO Dan Rajkowski said that the team's revenues "tripled" to $12M this year over '13. Rajkowski: "It’s fair to say we’ve met or exceeded our projections for 2014." Perlmutt noted the team now wants to "make the ballpark a year-round draw." Groups "have rented spaces for wedding rehearsal dinners and luncheons." The Knights "hope to host college baseball games and events tied to the Belk Bowl" at Bank of America Stadium in December (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 8/31). The Knights in today's Charlotte Observer run a full-page ad, featuring a letter to fans from Majority Owner Don Beaver (THE DAILY).